Family Law Blog

What Can’t Prenuptial Agreements Cover?

Friday, October 27, 2017

What Can’t Prenuptial Agreements Cover?

Before tying the knot, it benefits both parties if they sign a prenuptial agreement to protect their individual assets. Prenuptial agreements don’t mean that you expect a divorce to happen, merely that you acknowledge that people might change and your directions in life might head in opposite ways. However, while you can put a number of different provisions in a prenuptial agreement, sometimes some really quite wacky ones, there are some things that a prenuptial agreement can’t dictate.

There are only a small handful of items that you can’t put in your pre-nup, but they are still important to know. Clauses you can’t put in your pre-nup include:

  • Custody of Children – If you decide to have children together, your prenuptial agreement cannot dictate who gets them in the event of a divorce. Typically this must be worked out by the couple at the time with the court dictating who can provide the better home life.
  • Child Support and Visitation – Like custody, a pre-nup cannot set an amount of child support that one party must pay nor can it set visitation rights. These based on court decisions.
  • Anything That Encourages Divorce – This is an incredibly vague clause that can cover a number of things. A common example is that while you can define individual property, you cannot put in how it is split in a divorce since that is basically saying it will happen.
  • Anything That Is Illegal – If you have an underground gambling den or are the Don of a Mafia family, you should probably leave that out. Courts can’t overlook illegal activities.
  • Anything That Is Unfair – Like things that encourage divorce, anything unfair is another cover-all clause. The best example of this is alimony. While you technically can set alimony in a pre-nup, a judge can completely throw it out if it is deemed to be unfair to one side.

If you are getting married soon, a pre-nup can be an awkward thing to bring up, but it can protect both sides. To create prenuptial agreement or check that your existing one is valid, contact us today.